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Voices: Walking the Kumano Kodo

Blog entry about the Kumano Kodo


Centuries pass by
On paths to enlightenment
Feet tread softly on

Kumano Kodo is the name of a network of pilgrimage routes from Kyoto and other places to the three sacred shrines of the Kii Mountains; Hongo Taisha, Nachi Taisha and Hayatama Taisha. For over a thousand years, emperors, lords, monks and simple followers have made this walk, undertaking rites of worship and purification as they went. In fact, this year is the 1200th anniversary of the Kumano Kodo.

The area has been world heritage listed since 2004 for its cultural and landscape values. In modern times, when people talk about Kumano Kodo, they usually mean one of the several possible paths, the Nakahechi. This path cuts across the mountains of the Kii Peninsula from the town of Kii-Tanabe on the west coast to Shingu on the east. The usual starting point is Takajiri-oji, a 40 minute bus trip inland from Kii-Tanabe and the point at which, traditionally, "the passage into the precinct of the sacred mountains begins".

Over the next six days we plan to follow this path, come rain (assured) or shine (hoped for), to try and get a feel, however slight, for what the pilgrims of centuries past experienced.

Read more Part 1>>
Read more Part 2>>

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NEW Ise-Kumano-Wakayama Area Tourist Pass

NEW Ise-Kumano-Wakayama Area Tourist Pass
This is an easy way to do a loop of the Kii Peninsula.

From July 15, 2016 (Friday)
PRICE Adult 11,000 yen Children 5,500 yen (Children 6 to 11 years old)
NOTE: This pass is not available for purchase in Japan.
VALIDITY PERIOD Five consecutive days
AREA ●JR conventional lines: Nagoya-Shingu-within Osaka City (via lse Tetsudo Line or Kameyama, via Kisei Main Line/Hanwa Line) ●Nagoya-Kameyama-Nara-within Osaka City (via Kansai Main Line) Taki Toba (Sangu Line) ●Kansai International Airport-Hineno (Kansai Airport Line) ●Bus routes for accessing Kumano Kodo, Kumano Hongu Taisha, Kumano Nachi Taisha (Only Kumano Kotsu Bus); and Select bus routes
TRAIN TYPES ●Unlimited use of non-reserved seats on ordinary cars on all JR conventional line trains in the subject section. ●Reserved seats can be used up to four times on ordinary cars of limited express and rapid trains. ●Only non-reserved seats can be used on the limited express "Haruka' between the Kansai Inte…